As a homeowner living in the Sacramento or San Francisco Bay Area, you know snow during the winter is rare. But temperatures can still drop below freezing at times. Combine that with cold, rainy forecasts, and you have a few months of the year that are much less pleasant than the rest.
You may be wondering how to prep your garage for winter. During the winter months, chilly air can seep into your garage, affecting the items inside. Read on to discover tips on how to keep your garage warm in winter and protect it from seasonal harm.
1. Organize Your Items
You’ve heard of spring cleaning, but now it’s time to apply that mentality to the fall. A cluttered garage is problematic enough. Stepping over tools, toys and storage bins is worse when it’s cold and you’re trying to get to your vehicle. Take some time to organize the items in your garage before the cold weather strikes.
A clean garage will help you achieve the remaining tips on this list. You’ll be able to access your essential winter items with ease, and you’ll know where your possessions are at all times. Save yourself some frustration and organize your garage while the weather is still warm.
2. Create an Area for Wet Shoes and Clothing
Winter is not the cleanest of seasons. Water, salt, slush and dirt have a way of clinging to your shoes and clothes as you bustle down the street. The last thing you want is to track this stuff into your living space.
Organizing your garage should give you more room to solve this issue. Set aside some space as a “drop zone.” This area will be where you and your family can take off your wet boots, shoes, coats or other items. Keep the winter mess out of your living space with this designated spot.
3. Winterize Warm-Weather Equipment
Chances are, you’re not going to be using your lawnmower, weed whacker or leaf blower this winter. You might tuck them in the far corner of your garage and let them hibernate until it’s time to use them again. There’s nothing wrong with this, but the cold weather can be damaging.
That’s why you should winterize your essential outdoor equipment. Doing so involves adding a fuel stabilizer to the fuel tanks and disconnecting any batteries. These actions can protect your equipment during long periods of idleness.
4. Insulate Walls and Windows
Most of the time, garages are colder than the rest of your home’s living spaces. They don’t need the same degree of insulation to pass inspection, so your garage’s temperature can drop as the rest of your home stays warm. However, this cold air can seep into your living space.
Insulate your garage’s walls and windows to keep the cold air outside. This tip is especially crucial if you have an unfinished garage with exposed wall framing and ceilings. Apply fiberglass garage door insulation to the walls and ceilings. Use weather-resistant plastic to cover the windows for more protection. Taking these steps can keep your garage’s temperature several degrees higher all winter. 5. Seal Cracks and Small Openings
5. Seal Cracks and Small Openings
Cracks in your exterior garage walls and small openings around windows and electrical outlets can let in the cold air. They may not seem like much of a problem, but the cold air will accumulate and lower your garage’s temperature, risking damage to your stored items.
Use an exterior seal to fill cracks on your garage’s outer wall. Apply caulking around the interior of your windowpanes. Remove your outlet covers and fill empty spaces with small pieces of fiberglass insulation. These actions will seal these small openings to provide more winter protection for your garage.
6. Seal Garage Door Floor
Cities salt their roads during the winter to protect drivers from the dangers of ice, snow and slush. This salt will cling to your car and get on your garage floor. It can then eat away at your floor’s finish, damaging its appearance. As a savvy homeowner, you’ll want to learn how to protect your garage floor from salt.
Apply sealant to your garage floor to safeguard it from salt damage during the winter. Follow all instructions listed on the product to ensure a successful application. You’ll also need to clean your garage floor after application to prolong the sealant’s life.
7. Make Your Floor Safer for Walking
You should know how to protect your garage floor from snow to prevent slips and injuries. Snow is rare in the Bay Area, but water and slush can be an issue during winter. After a ride, your car will drip water all over your garage floor, creating an injury hazard.
Create a foam insulation dam around your vehicle to keep dripping water from spreading across the floor. Foam insulation is safe to drive over and peels off with a putty knife when you’ve finished using it. Also, consider placing mats on your garage floor to keep people from slipping.
8. Protect Your Pipes and Water Heater
Low temperatures put your pipes at risk of freezing. Frozen pipes can burst, inflicting water damage on your garage and living space. Use pipe insulation to keep pipes warm. This step will also save energy, as it prevents stored heat from escaping.
If you keep your water heater in your garage, you should consider protecting it from the cold temperatures. Your water heater might radiate heat, reducing the interior water temperature. Cover your water heater with an insulating blanket to keep the heat where you want it.
9. Invest in a Space Heater
Many people use their garage for more than storage. If you spend a lot of time in your garage for hobbies or other purposes, insulation alone isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need a space heater to raise the garage temperature to a more comfortable level.
A space heater can transform your garage from a simple storage space to an area you can designate as a home gym, an arts and crafts room or for other leisure activities. A space heater will help you protect your pipes from freezing, which is always a plus. Make sure to turn it off and unplug it when not in use.
10. Inspect and Prepare Your Garage Door and Opener
You depend on your garage door and opener every day. Their proper functioning is more important in the winter when the weather is cold and rainy. The last thing you want is a faulty garage door opener trapping you outside.
You should hire a professional to inspect your garage door and opener before winter comes. Doing the task yourself can be dangerous. A pro can tell if your garage door needs repairs or insulation to keep the cold weather out. They’ll check your garage door opener to ensure it’s in good working order.
Door Pros Can Help Prepare Your Garage for Winter
Winter can be tough on your garage. But with Door Pros’ help, you can prepare for winter to protect your valuable possessions and save on heating bills. We provide a full range of residential garage doors and openers, plus repairs and services. When you need garage door help, we’re the ones to call.
If you live in Northern California, choose from our six locations to get the services you need. Contact us today for more information about how we can help prepare your garage for winter. We look forward to serving you!